The last thing any homeowner wants to deal with is water damage. The mitigation process can be taxing, as you’ll have to set aside time and money to get your home back to its original state. When flooding does occur, the basement is usually the first place it will affect. Add a continuous string of storms and leaky foundation to the equation, and your home will start taking on water faster than a sinking ship. When you first notice water creeping into your home, no matter where it is, it’s time to act. Immediate mediation will prevent the damage from becoming worse and save you money.
Before You Begin
It’s important to know that cleaning up your home after water damage is a labor-intensive project that is going to take some time. Thankfully, there are a few tried and true steps you can follow that will make the chore more tolerable. However, to get the most out of your time and money, you’ll want to consider hiring a professional. Aloha Restoration Co., for example, is happy to come and help clean up the mess. We are experts in flood water mitigation and home restoration. But if you’re a rugged individualist and want to do it yourself, we understand. Follow these steps and you will be on your way to a dry basement once again.
Remove Your Belongings
The moment you notice water in your home, it’s time to start the repair process. First, you’ll want to move any furniture, appliances, or electronic devices out of the area. If the water is solely collecting in a corner or a small puddle, you can just move your furniture to a dry section of the room. Several inches of water on the floor, however, will require moving everything out of the area or to a higher level of the house. Even if you don’t move them out of the room, you should still unplug any electronic devices or appliances to reduce the risk of electrocution. If the area is taking on extreme amounts of water, it’s best to cut off the electricity to the entire house.
Get Rid of the Water
After the flooding subsides, it’s time to get rid of the water. Allowing the water to sit in your home any longer than necessary will lead to more problems. Standing water will begin to seep into the subfloor, and if it’s wood, will start to rot. If this goes on too long, it will be necessary to replace your flooring. Further, similar to a sponge, drywall will begin to soak up the water. Watermarks will soon appear and will act as a sign as to how far up the wall the water made it. This is why it’s imperative to get the water out as fast as you can.
The amount of water that made it in your home will dictate how you get rid of it. Homeowners can soak up small volumes with mops, towels, and buckets. If the room has floor drains, push the water toward that direction. You’ll also want to look outside and make sure the sewers are clear and free of backups. If you find something is blocking the sewer, the water will have nowhere to go. So eventually, any water you send down the drain will make its way back into the house. In this case, take the water outside and dump it in the yard away from your home. For those who have standing water in their house that is more than one inch deep, it’s time to obtain a wet-dry vacuum and pump. Set up the machine where the water is the deepest and run a hose out of the house. Turn it on and let the pump do its job. However, before plugging in anything electric, make sure the cords are out of the water and it is safe to proceed.
Dry the Area
After removing the majority of the water, it is time to dry the area. Keep using the wet-dry vacuum to get every last bit of water off the floor. Open all the windows to let some fresh air into the house—the extra air will help any remaining water evaporate. Further, set up every fan you own and put them on full blast. If you have a dehumidifier, turn that on too. The faster you dry the affected area, the less likely that mold will be able to form. Mold thrives in damp areas and will quickly spread if given the opportunity.
Any area with carpet will take a lot longer to dry. More likely than not, homeowners will have to tear up and take out the carpet. This is because getting water out of padding and carpet is next to impossible. It will never be 100% dry, and over time, will begin to attract mold. It will then start to smell musty and damp. It is better to get rid of the carpeting now, while the room is empty, so you can easily replace it. Setting the room back up on damp carpet will only delay the inevitable.
Once the house is dry and empty, call a mold specialist to get an assessment. It will be easier for them to look at the damage if the room is still empty. The possibility of mold growth increases after flooding, so call in a professional who can advise you on how to prevent or get rid of it.
Assess the Damage
Once everything is dry, you can start assessing the damage. Closely inspect the furniture and anything else that was in the room that may have had contact with the water. Upon checking its condition, you can decide if it is worth keeping. You’ll want to properly dispose of anything that is too damaged to keep. Many homeowners will put items on the curb for the garbage man to take or, if they have a lot of damage, invest in a dumpster. It’s important to note that many cities have a limit as to how much the garbage service can (or will) take. If you have a lot to get rid of, we recommend renting a dumpster.